Top of the World, Arizona

On Monday, 29 December 2003, I took a one-day, 134 mile, road trip to/from Top of the World, Arizona using US Highway-60. I left Tempe at 11:30am and returned home at 5:00pm.

Why the Top of the World? I decided to drive to the Top of the World because for some reason it was given a dot in my Arizona Road & Recreation Atlas and I wanted to know why. In addition, I wanted to hike Silly Mountain, re-visit Superior, go to the World's Smallest Museum, and get pictures of the Queen Creek Tunnel east of Superior.

Silly Mountain

Enter US Hwy-60 east at the Loop 101. US Hwy-60 is called the Superstition Freeway and it ends 26 miles later just past Apache Junction.

Exit US Hwy-60 to climb Silly Mountain. I barely get into the hike and the Superstition Mountains (zoom) look good. I've driven past Silly Mountain numerous times, but this was my first time hiking it. The trail-head is less than a quarter mile north of US Hwy-60. Some hikers like to stack rocks on their way up the mountain. The top of Silly Mountain offers scenic views in all directions. {east} {northeast} {north} {northwest ... zoom for Phoenix sign} {west} {southwest} {south}

The hike took 30 minutes up and down. Here is a picture of my parked car along with two pickup trucks next to US Hwy-60.

Picketpost Mountain

US Hwy-60 through the Valley of the Sun (which now includes the eastern-most sprawl of Gold Canyon) is not that much fun, but the road gets better once you get past the Florence Junction. Upon going over the Gonzales Pass, US Hwy-60 offers up views of Picketpost Mountain.

I pulled over to get a picture of the mountain and desert view, but the spot where I selected to stop had litter here and litter there and litter everywhere. I did not have the time to pick any of the litter up; however, AzLitter.org did issue a Litter Alert and this part of the road trip will be used as an AzLitter.org posting.

One of the these days I am going to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum that is located at the base of Picketpost Mountain.

World's Smallest Museum and Buckboard City Cafe

Upon entering Superior from the west is the World's Smallest Museum. The museum is free of charge, but they do suggest a $1 donation. The museum is maintained by the town of Superior. {outside stuff} {inside stuff} {inside stuff} The museum has a roof tiled with beer cans. Visiting the museum made me hungry so I had lunch at the Buckboard City Cafe. The cafe was cool inside, but there were other people around so I didn't have a chance to take pictures. I had the "Ye Ole Standby," which was a "Regular 'Home Cooked' Burger" served with an excellent cup of chicken noodle soup (the soup of the day). The burger was okay. I will return to the Buckboard City Cafe someday because it was cool inside (nice wall mural, other art work, miscellaneous old stuff, and all of the tables had American flags on them).

Superior, Arizona

Superior, AZ is one of my favorite locations and it is 52.2 miles from my Tempe home. {leaving Superior} {entering Superior sign}

Exit US Hwy-60 at Main Street and you are greeted with the Helping Hand rock sculpture. The plaque on the sculpture reads as follows.

      THE HELPING HAND

        DEDICATED TO
   THE PEOPLE OF SUPERIOR
    CENTENNIAL YEAR 1982
    MAY GOD BLESS US ALL

The east end of Main Street ends with the Pinal County Court building that provided me a chance to get a picture of American and Arizona flags. Downtown Superior is alive, but it doesn't have many open businesses. {more downtown} {bookkeeping mural ... mural again} [Note: these Superior pictures are being added to my collection of Superior pictures. Visiting downtown Superior was not a primary objective of this road trip.]

One of Superior's mountains has an S on it so I decided to hike 'S' mountain and take in its many many scenic views (including litter). {view} {Superior to west} {Superior to north} {view} {the 'S'} {AZ Hwy-177} {view} {litter} {litter}

Return to US Hwy-60 and continue east toward the Top of the World.

Top Of The World

Immediately east of Superior are views of old and new bridges (zoom). With Superior behind to the west, continue east on US Hwy-60. {view} {view} {view}

An alternative to going around or over a mountain is to tunnel through it and Queen Creek Tunnel offers a real-world example. {closer} {closer} {inside}

Exiting the Queen Creek Tunnel presents a new batch of scenic views ({view} {view} {view}) before arriving at the Top of the World. [Note: the trading post was open and I went inside, but nobody was there so I left still not knowing why this spot warranted a dot on my atlas.]

Going Home

Turned around at the Top of the World and headed west on US Hwy-60 back to Tempe. US Hwy-60 through Superior provides an opportunity to visit a city park. {mining town} {caboose} {elevator lift} {litter}

The rest of the drive home was non-stop. My one-day, 134 mile, road trip on US Hwy-60 to the Top of the World was fun.

About Driving US Hwy-60

US Hwy-60 in Arizona between the Valley of the Sun and Globe is not an easy drive. This is especially true if you have the time to enjoy Mother Nature. The road goes up and down with curves. Traffic can be heavy at times. Most of the road is two-lanes; however, passing lanes are provided that reward patient drivers. There are ample spots provided to pull off the road, but traffic (which includes trucks) can be fast making it difficult to exit and re-enter the road.